Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Best and Worst Races

I probably should have mentioned it before, but I have joined Team Tough Chik.  If you haven't heard of Tough Chik - they are a performance clothing company making cycling/running/active wear for women.  The team has over 160 members - of all abilities, all sorts of sports.  While most of us are "virtual friends",  I hope to meet at least a few local Tough Chiks IRL.

As a way to get to know each other and to keep our blogs full of interesting stuff, a question of the week was posted.  This weeks question is "What was your best/worst race experience?"

This actually is a harder question than you might think.  I have a lot of races that I am proud of for many different reasons.  First races are always special accomplishments.  Then there are races that you get a PR.  I took a long time off from doing any racing, so my first race "back" was a big goal.  On the flip side, I can't really think of many races that were bad - maybe I am lucky that I never ended up at a race that ended up being a total cluster.  So what stands out?

Worst Race:  I guess this has to be my first mountain bike race in sport class.  It was about 15 years ago, and my husband and I had just started racing.  We probably had done a hand full of races at this point.  We also were on a local bike shop team and most of the others were in sport class.   We actually had not intended to enter sport class, but we were late for the race and I can't remember if we actually missed the start or what.  If I remember correctly, the beginner class was 1 lap and sport was 2 laps.  I think each lap was maybe 6 or 8 miles, which may not sound long but in mountain biking terms it was a pretty good distance.  I just remember that we were completely not ready to jump up to the next class.  I remember being half way through the last lap and being totally bonked.  I had never bonked before, but when it happens you know it.  I felt like picking up empty gu packets from the ground because I needed something (I didn't actually do that).  The worst part was being half way and knowing that even if I turned back I still had just as far to go.  I finished the race, but it was pretty brutal.

Best Race:  Like I said, there are so many good races I can remember, I have to say that my best race was my first half iron man.   I usually need a race to train for to motivate me to train consistently, but I don't often plan so far ahead.  I picked this race many months in advance and while I wasn't always consistent in my training, I still had the race in the back of my mind for a long time.   Maybe having spent so much time thinking about it sort of built it up in my mind. The race was hard - I have never felt such a relief to cross a finish line.  But it also was one of those races where I left with such a feeling of accomplishment. I had met (almost) all of my goals, and even though I didn't quite hit my run goal, overall I had a better time than my goal.  I also had my family there - which I know for them isn't necessarily the most exciting thing (really a 6+ hour race where I pass by a few times isn't much to spectate).  And although I didn't know it until after, another friend drove over 2 hours to see me finish knowing that this was a big goal for me (unfortunately I even missed seeing her at the finish at all, but she still made a huge effort to be there).  I appreciate them giving up some of their time (although my husband will probably say he didn't have a choice) and being there to support me.


  1. I had fun at your 1/2 too, and I would not miss your first. It was great to see you accomplish your goal. And it was fun watching Zach ride through the crowds and show off on his bike (not sure where he gets that). It was also cool to see how excited he was to ride after you at the run finish, even though he was upset that he got yelled at for pacing. 2J

  2. My best race is also the one where I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Congrats on the half ironman. That's hardcore!